Many people in America, most likely including some of our San Jose readers, have been involved in a so-called fender-bender. These are the types of accidents where very little damage is done to any of the vehicles involved, and no one ends up with serious injuries. Unfortunately, there are also accidents that involve massive damage, serious injuries and even death. Even more unfortunate, one such accident occurred recently - right in San Jose.
According to the reports, two San Jose residents - both women, both in their 60s - died when the Toyota Yaris they were in was broadsided in a collision with a Mercedes. One of the women was transported for medical attention, but she ultimately succumbed to her injuries. The other woman died at the scene of the crash. The reports indicated that this collision was the 26th so far in San Jose this year that has involved fatalities.
The days since this collision occurred have probably been horrible for the accident victims' family members. But, to make matters worse, the driver of the Mercedes fled the scene on foot after the accident. That driver was not immediately known, but a serious manhunt was underway in the aftermath of the crash and that driver will most likely be facing some serious criminal charges once apprehended.
Above and beyond the criminal sanctions, however, this hit-and-run driver could also face a civil lawsuit. When a family member dies due to another party's negligence, the remaining family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit through a personal representative of the deceased person's estate. Hopefully the criminal process will help the family members feel a sense of justice when completed, but the civil process is intended to help the family members receive compensation for the financial effects of the horrible incident.
Source: San Jose Mercury News, "San Jose police continue search for driver who killed two women, fled scene," Mark Gomez, Sept. 11, 2013
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